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I wake on the floor next to my bed. I've got rug burn on the ridge of my cheekbone, the fingernails on both my left pinky and ring fingers are cracked, and bent backwards and it aches when I breathe too deeply. I can't remember why that is, and though it is a striking pain, it feels superficial enough to ignore for now. I wonder, “is it worth it to climb up onto the mattress? To get a few more hours, or maybe just minutes of sleep. To attempt to further wallow in non-existence.”

I decide that it is, and groggily roll atop the piss stained pillow-top. Shutting my eyes tightly, I try to tell myself that sleep will grant me the mercy of taking me for a few more fleeting moments. I know this will end up a pipe dream, but that doesn't stop me from lying a few more minutes.

I need to take a leak, but I don't know if I yet have the coordination to remain upright for the walk to the bathroom. I briefly consider my options; thinking that if I knew I could shortly return to a heavy comatose state, I might put up with waking up with soaked shorts. Feeling like I won't get any more sleep this morning, I look around my room. Either by luck, or by virtue of the planning of “Sober-me” there are a few empty bottles on the nearby nightstand. One 20 ounce Cherry Coke bottle, one empty fifth of bottom shelf vodka, and one 32 ounce G2 Gatorade with only a finger or two of grape flavored liquid in it.

Swiveling my 200 pound frame into a sitting position, legs dangling off the bed, I grab the Gatorade bottle. Though it isn't completely empty, I know that its mouth will best fit my numb, flaccid cock when used as a urine receptacle. I slide my shorts down and plop my head into the bottle's opening, hoping that the contents of my bladder are little enough in volume to not overflow the plastic vessel.

As the sound made by the dribbling of my piss into the bottle becomes increasingly high in tone, I reflect on the fact that I no longer get headaches in the traditional sense, nor feel the nausea that used to inherently accompany a day or night of heavy drinking. Casually looking at the space between my blackout curtains, I see only hazy grey light through the window. The digital clock reads 5:51, and I briefly wonder if that is AM or PM. Not that it particularly matters to me at this moment.

It has now become apparent to me that I am too awake to slip back into unconsciousness for a few hours. I suppose I had better resolve to be awake, and aware for at least a few hours. “Luckily,” I have the better part of a “handle” of vodka hidden in my shirt drawer, and my brother is going to be at work all day. This means I have no reason to leave the house until tomorrow, when I'll have to buy more booze. I hope that I have enough money on my debit card. Whatever, I've got overdraft protection.

The last drops of salty, yellow liquid splash into what used to be my Gatorade bottle. I should feel ashamed of my inability to shuffle to the bathroom, and my willingness to pee into a former drinking vessel. I know that I'll still have to walk to the toilet to dump my piss out of the bottle, but I've at least bought myself some time before I need to do so.

A normal guy would chalk this up to a night of hard partying, or trying to escape their temporary depression, and plan his day around sobering up or recovering, However, I am aware of an unfortunate reality. A reality that includes the fact that taking more than a 16 hour abstinence from alcohol will most likely result in agony; shivers, sweats and possibly delirium and hallucinations. I've locked myself into a deadly cycle.

I know that after a few swigs of 80 proof, my guilt will subside. Not disappear, mind you. No amount of poison can erase the regret I feel, have felt, and will feel in the future. But forgetting can be cathartic for a while. Putting off both the physical, and emotional pain I know must come is almost impossible to resist.

The people closest to me tell me they love me. That doesn't help. Not at all. I'd rather that they simply accept the fact that I wasn't made for this life. My concern for them is one of the only factors keeping me in the realm of the living.

I think of everything I have lost, everything I still have, and everything I have yet to gain, and subsequently lose. It all seems the same right now. I logically know what I am supposed to do...what common sense, and the world around me wants me to do. Yet I can't come to terms with it. There is very little left that seems to me to have any meaning.

There was so much that I wanted to do. So much I wanted to make, share, and display. I know that all those thoughts are nothing but a dream. Maybe my ideas and works will be found, and analyzed one day. The world is too big now for original ideas, free thought. I can only hope that those who feel the same as me, will find a way to conquer their demons, and exhibit their thoughts effectively.

For me, I think I'm okay with the life I have lived. Short, inconsequential, and meaningless. I wish others could experience all I've thought, and felt, yet go on to greater things. Living a life that they could only have dreamt of.

If not, please at least know that you are never alone.

I drag my laptop PC closer to me on my mattress. I close one eye, making it easier for my swirling vision to focus. I am able to slide the mouse cursor to my playlist of Bob Ross videos. I double click, and try to ignore all my rational thoughts. The sounds of “The Joy of Painting” lull me back into sleep. I have kept hopelessness at bay for at least another day.

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